What is Urban Republic?

Urban Republic is a registered non-profit composed of architects, artists, and writers. We develop and implement projects that use the tools of art and design to cultivate a sense of place and opportunities for social engagement. Our work operates at the intersection of art, architecture and urbanism. Urban Republic is also open to collaboration with artists, designers, communities and cultural institutions.

Why Urban Republic?

In an age of large-scale development and urban densification, the relationship between individuals, the collective sphere and the built environment is constantly changing. Urban Republic explores these changes through projects that stimulate our collective imagination and probe issues of urban culture. Urban Republic activates unrecognized or ill-used spaces and transforms seemingly familiar and generic urban landscapes into vibrant public places.


Sabine Bitter Since 1993, Vancouver and Vienna based artist Sabine Bitter has been collaborating with Helmut Weber . Their works focus on emergent sites and overlaps of architecture, urban developments, communications systems and modes of artistic and cultural production as they are mediated through photography, video and new media technologies. Sabine is also a fine arts instructor at Simon Fraser University.

Kitty Blandy is a London-born, Vancouver based artist who regularly exhibits in both locations. She works predominantly with printmaking, drawing and sculpture. Her work is included in many private and public collections, notably the National Portrait Gallery, London (bronze). She has previous experience on the boards of non-profit artist run societies and in 1990 she received the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation award.

Bruce Haden is an architect and managing partner at Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden architects + urbanistes. Bruce has extensive experience in institutional, social services, residential, retail and First Nations projects and is very active in the community. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1991, with a Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Gold Medal.

Craig Nerland qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1977. His business background includes roles as VP Finance of a group of public mineral exploration companies, Manager & Partner in CA firms and the Senior Group Controller for an international corporate joint venture in real estate development. He is presently the controller for a local Architectural firm in Vancouver.

Brian Wakelin Prior to joining supekül architecture as a principal architect, Brian spent ten years with Busby Perkins+Will, where he led a diverse range of sustainable mixed use and higher education projects. He also was in charge of the higher education sector in Canada. Brian received his Masters of Architecture from UBC in 1998.

Adele Weder is an architectural writer and cultural journalist. A contributing editor of Azure magazine and former editor of Insite magazine, she writes for design journals across North America and is a co-author of B.C. Binning, a book about the Canadian artist/designer. Adele received a Masters of Advanced Studies in Architecture from the University of British Columbia in 2005.

CEO's and Founders

Henning Knoetzele, Urban Republic co-CEO and co-founder
Henning has been involved in public art / architecture projects in Germany and Canada. Henning received his Dipl. Ing in architecture from the Bauhaus University in Weimar. In 2000, he moved to Vancouver where he works in the field of architecture and continues to create public art / architecture installations.

Peeroj Thakre, Urban Republic co-CEO and co-founder
Peeroj has been involved in public art/architecture projects since 2004. She is a registered architect with nine years of experience in designing cultural and public buildings and recently founded the firm, ph5 architecture inc. Peeroj is also a regular guest critic at UBC School of Architecture and has taught at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.